The saddle is made of words!
I’ve been hinting at this for the last few weeks now, but now all my beans are being spilt: I am indeed leaving Hootsuite for a position elsewhere. My last day in the nest is October 28th.
While I very much enjoy my team and other assorted owls at Hootsuite, I’ve made no secret of the fact that JIRA Administration was never amongst the things I wanted to do when I grew up. What started out as occasional maintenance (and only because JIRA was tied to our documentation tool, and then only because I didn’t want to wait for someone else to have the free time to do what was needed) gradually became an all-encompassing struggle to keep the system running with limited resources, which then snowballed into supporting all things Atlassian. I’ve spent the last 15 months elbow-deep in support and operations, which is a really weird place for a technical writer to be.
That was the other half of my problem: on paper, I was still a technical writer. My day to day duties had very little to do with technical writing, but I didn’t have the slightest idea what my title SHOULD be. Don’t get me wrong – I was happy to be busy and have actual things to do (a far cry from my first 6 months at Hootsuite doing nothing) – but I wasn’t doing the things I thought I was hired to do, and worse yet, I saw both no exit and no possibility for advancement. I supposed I could have just JIRA’d harder, but at the end of the day, it was a pretty frustrating waste of my abilities. And what about my resume? How do you explain that you’re a Technical Writer who technically does not write? I worried that my skills were fading faster than the purple dye on my hair, and that I’d never be able to successfully sell myself as a tech writer because I’d spent the last x months doing glorified support and operations and student-essay-editing.
I didn’t actually DO anything about all these fears I had – I mean, I talked to my bosses (and anyone who would listen) about my title and position, but I sat on most of my worry like a phone book. I got as far as updating my resume, scared witless the entire time that I had no marketable skills and having detailed visions of Very Old Kimli hunched over a TV Dinner at a nursing home, VPN’d into Hootsuite so I could answer help tickets about workflows and issue types. It was not Good Times.
I must have sacrificed exactly the correct number of chickens, because something fortuitous happened around the height of my despair: someone (who wasn’t a headhunter) contacted me about a tech writing opportunity (that wasn’t a 3-month contract in fucking Winnipeg). We chatted via email, video interviews were had, and on October 6th, I was officially offered the position of Documentation Engineer. I’ll be working for a US-based software company that specializes in high performance computing in the cloud, meaning I get to stay in tech (which is hugely important to me). Oh, and the job is 100% remote: it even says in my contract that I can work from anywhere. ANYWHERE. The world is included in ANYWHERE. I fully expect to pop up in random places around the world, engineering up some documentation for everything I can get my hands on.
I am beyond excited about this new opportunity. I will miss some awesome people at Hootsuite, but this is a massive leap forward in my career. I get to work from home with the cats and without pants. I get to write. And I’ve been promised there’s no JIRA administration involved, which might be the very best part of all.
Strap in, y’all. We’re heading back into space, and I can’t fucking wait.